Entertainment

British track Olympic champion Mo Farah reveals he was trafficked to the UK as a child

UK track star and Olympic great Mo Farah revealed this week he was a victim of human trafficking when he was brought to the United Kingdom as a child.

The athlete’s story was revealed in a new documentary in which Farah tells the story of coming to the UK with a woman he did not know and being forced to care for her children in exchange for food. The documentary, “The Real Mo Farah,” aired this week on Wednesday, sending shock waves across a nation that reveres Farah as one of its greatest athletes of all time.

In the documentary, Farah says his real name is Hussein Abdi Kahin. According to Farah, he lived in the breakaway region of Somalia, Somaliland, until he was 9 years old. His father was shot and killed when Farah was 4 years old, and his mother and brothers remain on the farm in Somaliland.

Farah outlines how he was taken by a woman he did not know who tore up the paperwork he had on him with he believed to be the contact information of relatives in the UK, and instead used false papers to usher him to West London, where she forced him to care for her children in an apartment for years.

Farah says he was not allowed to go to school, and cared for the children under duress. “I wasn’t treated as part of the family,” Farah said in the film. “If I wanted food in my mouth, my job was to look after those kids — shower them, cook for them, clean for them.”

When he was finally allowed to attend school as a 12 year old, he began finding solace in running track. “I still missed my real family, but from that moment everything got better,” Farah said. “I felt like a lot of stuff was lifted off my shoulders, and I felt like me.” He eventually relayed his story to a physical education teacher at the school, who helped get him into foster care.

Farah says he kept his story under wraps for three decades because he was afraid the truth would result in him being deported or losing his British citizenship. He represented the UK in three Olympics, bringing home 4 gold medals throughout.

ARTICLE: LAURA SPIVAK

MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE

PHOTO CREDITS: BLOOMBERG

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Laura is a freelance writer out of Maryland and a mom of three. Her background is in political science and international relations, and she has been doing political writing and editing for 17 years. Laura has also written parenting pieces for the Today Show and is currently working on writing a collection of remarkable true stories about normal people. She writes for FBA because unbiased news is vital to unity, and readers deserve the facts free of opinion.

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