Four-time Olympic gold winner Mo Farah, 39, disclosed in a clip from his upcoming BBC One documentary The Real Mo Farah that his real name is Hussein Abdi Kahin and that he was trafficked to England at the age of nine from his home, Somaliland.
“Despite what I’ve said in the past, my parents never lived in the U.K. When I was 4, my dad was killed in a civil war,” Farah says. “As a family, we were torn apart. I was separated from my mother and brought into the U.K. illegally, under the name of another child called Mohamed Farah.”
Farah admits he does “wonder what is Mohamed doing now” as he examined a copy of the visa falsified for his entry into the nation.
“From that moment, coming in, [I had] a different name, a different identity,” he says. “I know I’ve taken someone else’s place.”
According to The Telegraph, England’s Home Office stated that “no action whatsoever will be taken against Sir Mo” because he was a child and thus not complicit, despite the fact that he was seeking legal counsel in the documentary about the possibility of losing his citizenship.
After his father was killed, Farah reportedly recalled his mother sending him and his twin brother Hassan to live with their uncle in the adjacent country of Djibouti for their safety.
It is alleged that the long-distance runner was often observed by a woman before he was carried to Europe to live with relatives. He was allegedly forced to serve her family as a domestic servant.
“From day one, what the lady did wasn’t right. I wasn’t treated as part of the family,” he recalls. “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 or they will take you away.’”
Farah added, “Often, I would lock myself in the bathroom and cry.”
After telling his PE teacher, Alan Watkinson, about his situation, Farah was able to escape. The following seven years were spent living happily with Kinsi Farah, the mother of one of his school friends.
In 2000, after his birth mother Aisha’s Somali friends recognized him on TV, they were finally reunited.
With his wife, Tania Nell, Farah now has four children of his own. He claims he called his son Hussein to pay homage to his ancestry.
The Real Mo Farah premieres on BBC One on July 13 at 9 p.m.