Olympic star Mo Farah reveals his name was given to him by a stranger who trafficked him to the UK as a child
- Olympic star
Mo Farahrevealed this week that his name is actually Hussein Abdi Kahin.
- He told the BBC he was trafficked to the UK from Djibouti as a child.
Olympic gold medalist and British long-distance runner Mo Farah says his name was given to him by a stranger who trafficked him to the UK as a child.
"Most people know me as Mo Farah, but it's not my name, or it's not the reality," Farah said in a preview clip of an upcoming documentary from BBC News and Red Bull Studios. "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."
Previously, Farah said he came to the UK from Somalia as a refugee with his family. But Farah told the BBC that he was actually sent to live with family in the eastern African country of Djibouti when he was eight or nine years old.
From Djibouti, Farah told the BBC that he was brought to the UK by a woman he had never met and was not related to. Farah said that when they arrived in London, the woman had fake travel documents that featured Farah's photo and told him to say his name was Mohamed Farah.
Farah told the BBC that he was "excited" to head to the UK because the woman who trafficked him said he would be living with relatives. Once they got to the woman's apartment, however, she destroyed a document containing the contact information of Farah's relatives.
"At that moment, I knew I was in trouble," Farah told the BBC.
Farah's mother — Aisha — said in the documentary that she wasn't aware that her son would be taken to the UK and said she sent her son to live with an uncle in Djibouti because of an ongoing war.
"I lost contact with you," she told Farah in a clip from the documentary. "We didn't have phones, roads, or anything. There was nothing here. The land was devastated."
A UK Home Office spokesperson told Insider that it assumes children are unaware of any potential fraud when gaining citizenship status.
"No action whatsoever will be taken against Sir Mo and to suggest otherwise is wrong," the spokesperson said.
Farah is a four-time Olympic medalist and has received the title of knighthood — an honor that British royalty gives for notable achievements or service.
Previews of the upcoming documentary, which is set to air on BBC One at 9 p.m. local time on Wednesday, have sparked commentary about Farah's ability to speak publicly about his experience.
"I spent a decade working with children who were trafficked to the UK and everything about this is heartbreaking. But it could also be a gamechanger so thank you @Mo_Farah for having the courage to speak out," Lisa Nandy, a UK politician, tweeted on Monday.
"We applaud @Mo_Farah for his bravery in telling his heartbreaking story — he underlines the human reality at the heart of so many stories like his — and the desperate need for safe and humane routes for people seeking asylum," the UK-based Refugee Council organization tweeted on Monday.
Farah wrote on Twitter: "Through this documentary I have been able to address and learn more about what happened in my childhood and how I came to the UK."
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