I’ve been living a lie… my real name is not Mo Farah and I was trafficked here after my dad was killed in Somali war


SIR Mo Farah has revealed he has been hiding the truth about his life for decades — and even his name is not real.

The four-time Olympic champ, 39, bravely admitted making up key details about moving to the UK.

He previously claimed to have joined his dad, but he was killed in the Somalian civil war.

Sir Mo — real name Hussein Abdi Kahin — tells a TV documentary he was trafficked here to work as a servant.

The running legend fears losing his UK citizenship.

The married father of three bravely admitted: “There’s something about me you don’t know. It’s a secret that I’ve been hiding since I was a child.

“I’ve been keeping it for so long, it’s been difficult because you don’t want to face it. 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 not feel like you’re holding on to something.

“To be able to face it and talk about the facts, how it happened, why it happened, it’s tough. The truth is I’m not who you think I am. And now whatever the cost, I need to tell my real story.”

The revelations are laid bare in a bombshell new BBC1 documentary, The Real Mo Farah, which airs tomorrow night.

In it, Sir Mo — who has decided to keep his assumed identity — fears he could be stripped of his British citizenship for giving false details in his application.

The 2012 Olympics legend, knighted five years ago, had always insisted his father was an IT consultant called Muktar who was born and brought up in London.

He claimed his dad then moved to Mogadishu and met his mother before returning to the UK, followed by his son when the Somalian civil war deepened.

However, his father was actually a farmer called Abdi who was killed in the conflict when his son was four. His mother Aisha later sent him to neighbouring Djibouti for his safety.

She wanted him to be reunited with his twin brother Hassan. Instead one of his own relatives may have helped to illegally traffic him to the UK, through a mystery woman.

Mo Farah said: “The hardest thing is admitting to myself that someone from my own family may have been involved in trafficking me.”

‘Bazooka shot’

On arrival, aged eight, she told him he was now called Mo Farah and had to look after her family in return for being fed.

It was with this false name that he applied for British citizenship – and by confessing it now he puts his national status in jeopardy.

However, the long-distance running icon – married to Tania, with nine-year-old twin girls Aisha and Amani plus son Hussein, six — is determined to find closure.

For most of his childhood and teens, he did not see his biological family, which had been “torn apart” by the death of his father.

Mo Farah said: “My dad went to look after cattle and never came back. Due to the civil war happening between the North and the South, there were a lot of people fighting where he was.

“There was a massive bazooka shot. It hit the ground and flew into pieces and one piece hit him on the head and just straight off, off the head there. To me the hardest thing is, till this day, is like, I don’t even know what he looked like.”

The documentary includes a clip of him on The Jonathan Ross Show recalling how excited he was to meet his dad when he first arrived in London. But he was in fact taken by the mystery woman to her family in Isleworth, West London, where he was forced to work for them.

Deeply unhappy, he finally plucked up the courage to tell his schoolteachers, and social services intervened. He was eventually looked after by a Somalian woman, Kinsi, for seven years.

My dad went to look after cattle and never came back.

In the programme she recalls how she felt compelled to save him by posing as his aunt. She said: “You were not happy. You’re crying. Then I tried to find out what is going on with you. The lady, she always make you do the housework, to have the kids, to give them their milk, to change their nappy and all these things.”

She added of the mystery woman: “She didn’t bring you as a human being.”

Though his parents and brother never left his thoughts, Mo finally received some sort of stability thanks to his adoptive family. He was then able to nurture his natural ability to run at Feltham Community College in Hounslow, West London.

However, a major hurdle came when, at 14, he was selected to compete for English schools in Latvia. His PE teacher Alan Watkinson said: “It wasn’t really very clear what Mo’s immigration status was. You know, he didn’t have the documentation that he would need to travel.

“So, we started that process of getting him the British citizenship as Mohamed Farah. Getting Mo to the point where you know he had his British citizenship was quite a long process.”

As his athletics career was burgeoning around 2000, he received shock news about his family back home.  A customer in a Somalian restaurant where he was working told him she had just seen his mum. Sir Mo recalls: “I was like, ‘Saw my mom? She’s alive?’ And she’s like, ‘Yeah, she’s alive. Here’s a photo, so if you don’t believe me’. And then she said, ‘Look this is a cassette tape for you’.

“It wasn’t just a tape, it was more of a voice and then it was singing sad songs for me like poems or like traditional song, you know. And I would listen to it for days, weeks. The side of the tape had a number on it and then on it, it said, ‘If this is a bother or causing you trouble, just leave it. You don’t have to contact me’. And I’m going, ‘Of course I want to contact you.’ That’s when I first called my mom.”

The documentary then moves to Somalia where Aisha reveals: “When I heard him I felt like throwing the phone on the floor and being transported to him from all the joy I felt.”

In an emotional trip, Mo Farah and son Hussein return to his home village and see his father’s grave.

His mother said: “Never in my life did I think I would see you or your children alive. We were living in a place with nothing, no cattle, and destroyed land. We all thought we were dying. ‘Boom, boom, boom’ was all we heard. I sent you away because of the war.”

She said they were told they would all go together, but recalled: “When I woke up you had already left. I wondered why they left me behind that night.”

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