Sir Mo Farah wanted to be honest about his past for the sake of his children.
The 39-year-old runner - who has twins Aisha and Amani, 10, and Hussein, seven, as well as 17-year-old Rhianna with wife Tania Nell - revealed for the first time earlier this year that his real name is Hussein Abdi Kahin and that he was trafficked to the UK to work as a servant at the age of nine and explained that the decision to break his silence was because he "cannot imagine" his children going through the same thing.
He said: "Yeah honestly, it's been hard. It's been quite emotional. And look, to ask that question ‘why now’, honestly just looking at my kids, my twin girls are 10, my son is seven, my oldest girl Rihanna, she's 17, and looking at my girls, and to me, I just couldn't imagine them going through what I did. And often your kids ask you a lot questions, like ‘Dad, where's your brother?’, ‘Why is he not here?’, ‘Where's your mom?’ That story, I've always kept that back in my mind. But over the years as you get older, and you see your kids, and you just try and be honest with them, and talk to them and show them what's normal, what's not normal, and just being a father. And one of the reasons I really did it is because of my family, I just wanted to tell them, you know, this is the real story. And it was hard for me to actually, as you said, keep out in the back of your mind for so many years to come forward now and to tell your kids and share with them. But if it wasn't for my kids and seeing them every day, it would have been hard to actually say anything."
The record-breaking sports star went on to add that that period of time in his early life was "hard" because just a few years earlier his dad had been killed and he eventually lost touch with his family before coming to the UK after mistakenly believing he would be going to live with a relative.
Speaking to pop star Dua Lipa on her 'At Your Service' podcast, he added: "It was hard for me because as I said, like when I was young, we live in Somaliland and due to the civil war, my dad got killed. And I was the aged four at the time, and there was a family of us, eight of us, and we all got separated, aunts and uncles, everybody because at that time, my mum couldn't deal with coping with my dad's death. And it was hard for us and at that point, me and my twin brother got taken away to go with relative family in Djibouti, and we were there at the time. And then again, yeah, so we stayed with him and I lost touch with my family. And then at that point, a little bit older, I came to the UK and thought that I was going to go to a relative of mine who lived in another country and it never happened. And when I came to the UK, just before I came to the UK, as shown in my documentary, it was like two weeks beforehand, lady comes over, looked at me, goe ‘Okay’ and then gave me a name and says, ‘Listen, this is going to be your name now remember this.’ And I was like ‘okay, okay’. And at that point, you know, you just think, I just didn't think of anything, because you're young at the time, and you think, ‘Okay, I’m going to a special place’ and my dream was always it's gonna be nice, it's gonna be nice. And you tell yourself that to get through and the reality is that never happened, and it was hard, it was hard. And then again, if I didn't have the support of my teacher, who actually, when I started school, identified, like, I was neglected, I wasn't the normal child, there were a lot of emotional things, I was distracted from other kids and just, I couldn't deal with it."
Listen to 'Dua Lipa: At Your Service': https://link.chtbl.com/Dua_Lipa_At_Your_Service