Watch: Sir Mo Farah confesses the truth about his trafficking past
Sir Mo Farah has revealed his real name is Hussein Abdi Kahin and he was brought to the UK illegally under the false name of Mohamed Farah.
The 39-year-old Olympic Gold medal winner and father-of-four admitted he felt "relief" after finally speaking the truth about how he was born in Somaliland and brought to Britain by human traffickers aged nine.
1. Mo Farah's real name
Sir Mo said: "Most people know me as Mo Farah but it's not my name or it’s not the reality.
“The real story is I was born in Somaliland, north of Somalia, as Hussein Abdi Kahin. 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, you know as a family we were torn apart.
“I was separated from my mother, and I was brought into the UK illegally under the name of another child called Mohamed Farah.”
2. He was kept as slave by human trafficker
The long distance runner — who had previously claimed to be a refugee from Somalia — revealed he was brought to the UK by a woman under the pretence she would be taking him to stay with a relative, but was then kept as a slave at he flat in Hounslow, London.
He said: “I had all the contact details for my relative and once we got to her house, the lady took it off me and right in front of me ripped them up and put it in the bin and at that moment I knew I was in trouble.”
Sir Mo went on: “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 want to see your family again, don’t say anything. If you say anything, they will take you away.’"
The athlete — who was granted British citizenship in 2000 under the name Mo Farah and knighted by The Queen in 2017 — eventually confessed the truth to his PE teacher.
3. Who is the real Mohamed Farah?
He was then moved to live with the real Mohamed Farah's aunt Kinsi.
In the documentary she told him: “I tried to find out what is going on with you. The lady, she always make you do the housework, to have the kids, give them their milk, to change their nappy and all these things.
“What I know is she didn’t bring you as a human being, to help you, no. If I tell you the truth, this is not your fault. Your name is a gift to you, our gift to you.”
Sir Mo also spoke to the real Mohamed Farah telling him: “I can’t believe that I’m speaking to you. I carry your name and for many, many years, I carry that with me and I’m proud you know what I have achieved.
“But as a person I always wonder where’s Mohamed, is he okay, what would life have been like for him?
“I think about it all the time and in person I just wanted to get in touch and to see how you’re doing.”
Sir Mo — who took part in I’m A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here!’ in 2020 — also visited his real mother Aisha and discussed why she sent him away.
She told him: “We were living in a place with nothing, no cattle, and destroyed land. We all thought we were dying.
“I sent you away because of the war... I lost contact with you. We didn’t have phones, roads or anything. There was nothing here. The land was devastated. I left you both with your uncle.”
4. His British citizenship could be at risk
The documentary sees Sir Mo meet with a lawyer who tells him that even thought he was trafficked as a young child and he told the relevant authorities the truth, there is still a “real risk” his British citizenship could be taken away as it was obtained under false representation.
But it is understood the Home Office will not be taking any action against Sir Mo.
5. He confessed all to his wife before wedding
His wife Tania revealed that before their wedding in 2010 he realised “there was lots of missing pieces to his story” but she eventually “wore him down with the questioning” and he told her the truth.
He said: “I’ve been keeping it for so long, its been difficult because you don’t want to face it and often my kids ask questions, ‘dad, how come this?’ And you’ve always got an answer for everything, but you haven’t got an answer for that.
“That’s the main reason in telling my story because I want to feel normal and… don’t feel like you’re holding on to something.”
The Real Mo Farah will air at 6am on BBC iPlayer and 9pm on BBC One on Wednesday, 13 July.
If you are a victim of human trafficking and need support, contact the Sophie Hayes Foundation.
24 Hour Confidential Referral Helpline: 0300 3038151
Modern Slavery Helpline: 08000 121 700