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Sir Mo Farah has opened up about a lifelong secret in an incredibly emotional documentary, revealing he was illegally brought to the United Kingdom and forced to work as a domestic servant.
The four-time Olympic gold medalist has previously claimed he had come to the United Kingdom with his parents from Somalia, however, has now opened up about the true events that transpired when he came to the UK.
In an upcoming documentary for the BBC and Red Bull Studios, Farah revealed his real name is Hussein Abdi Kahin and he comes from the breakaway state of Somaliland.
He grew up on his family’s farm, sadly losing his father in a period of civil war when he was shot and killed by stray gunfire.
Later in his life, he was helpless and tricked into being illegally trafficked into the UK.
As part of the documentary, he says: “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.”
Sir Mo says he was taken from his family at around eight or nine years old by a woman he had never met who claimed she was taking him to meet relatives in Europe and gave him the name ‘Mohammed Farah’.
However, when they arrived to her flat in the UK, Sir Mo’s true horror was revealed.
The Olympic runner details the domestic housework and childcare he was forced to do in order to survive, with the woman blackmailing him to keep his mouth closed about the situation if he ever wanted to visit his family again.
When he was allowed to enter the education system in Year 7 at Feltham Community College teachers were told he was a refugee from Somalia.
It was in his PE classes that his talents for running shone through and allowed him an escape from the reality he was living in.
Eventually, he confided in his PE teacher, revealing his true identity and the family he was being forced to work for.
His teacher contacted social services and helped Mo find another Somali family to live with and escape from his hell.
The change and stable environment allowed him to flourish as an athlete throughout his high-school years, and he eventually became a British citizen in 2000.
"I still missed my real family, but from that moment everything got better," Sir Mo says.
"I felt like a lot of stuff was lifted off my shoulders, and I felt like me. That's when Mo came out - the real Mo."
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