Sir Mo Farah Reveals That He Was Trafficked Into The UK As A Child

Jesse Williams

By Jesse Williams

Jesse Williams

11 Jul 2022

Olympian Sir Mo Farah has revealed he was brought to the UK illegally as a child and forced to work as a domestic servant.

In an interview given to the BBC the good 2012 medalist said his real name is Hussein Abdi Kahin and that Mohamed Farah was in fact chosen by the traffickers who flew him over from Djibouti.

Originally from Somaliland Mo moved to the neighbouring Djibouti after his father was killed in the civil war.

“The truth is I’m not who you think I am. And now, whatever the cost, I need to tell my real story,” he explained.

“Most people know me as Mo Farah but it’s not my name or it’s not the reality. Despite what I’ve said in the past, my parents never lived in the UK. When I was four, my Dad was killed in the civil war – as a family we were torn apart,”

“I feel like I’ve always had that private thing where I could never be me and tell what’s really happened,”

“I wanna feel normal and not like you’re holding on to something.”

The woman who brought him pretended to be his mother, telling him not to speak in airports and assume the identity of Mohammed Farah. He realised he’d taken another boy’s place when the man meeting her wondered where his son the real Mo Farah was.

When he landed in the UK, the woman took him to her flat in Hounslow, west London, and discarded a piece of paper with his relatives’ contact details on it.

“Right in front of me, she ripped it up and put it in the bin. At that moment, I knew I was in trouble,”

“If I wanted food in my mouth my job was to look after those kids, shower them, cook for them, clean for them, and she said, ‘If you ever wanna see your family again, don’t say anything or they will take you away’. Often I would just lock myself in the bathroom and cry.”

Farah received praise from Enver Solomon, chief executive of the Refugee Council saying: “We salute Sir Mo for his bravery in speaking out about his story,”

“Like so many others he has faced unimaginable pain and by telling his story he is shining a light on global problems which require urgent and meaningful action.”

The full documentary by the BBC and Red Bull Studios will air on Wednesday July 13th.