Olympian Mo Farah said he came from Djibouti aged eight or nine with a false identity. He said his children had encouraged him to tell the truth. Born in Somaliland as Hussein Abdi Kahin and trafficked from Djibouti to London under the name of another child: Mohamed Farah.
LONDON JULY 15: Olympian Mo Farah said he came from Djibouti aged eight or nine with a woman he had never met, was given a false identity, and then made to look after another family’s children. In fact, he said, his father was killed in civil unrest in Somalia when Farah was aged four and his mother, Aisha, and two brothers live in the breakaway state of Somaliland.
Born in present-day Somaliland, the then Hussein Abdi Kahin was trafficked from Djibouti to London under the name of another child, Mohamed Farah, at the age of nine where he was forced into child labour. He adopted the name as his own thereafter, becoming a British citizen.
– “The truth is I’m not who you think I am,” Farah said in the documentary, explaining that his mother wanted him far removed from Somalia’s civil wars.
He said his children had encouraged him to tell the truth about his past.
– “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 admission could have raised questions about Farah’s UK citizenship, but the interior ministry said he was in the clear.
The ministry’s guidance absolves children of blame if parents or guardians are later found to have obtained their immigration status under false pretenses.
His ten global championship gold medals (four Olympic and six World titles) make him the most successful male track distance runner ever, and he is the most successful British track athlete in modern Olympic Games history.
Farah was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in 2013 and was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in the 2017 New Year Honours for services to athletics.