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  • Writer's pictureJessica Jacobs

The Real Mo Farah - BBC1

Sir Mo Farah is an inspiring Olympian who has bravely shared his story about being human trafficked as a child from his home in Somaliland and having been the victim of forced child labour. The British gold medalist broke his silence after almost 30 years and spoke to the BBC in a documentary shown on BBC1 on Wednesday evening.

Mo Farah (whose given name was Hussein Abdi Kahin) was taken by a relative from his home in Somaliland with is twin brother to Djibouti. His mother was struggling to bring up four children after her husband was killed in the civil war when Mo was 4 years old. Whilst in Djibouti, Mo became the victim of human trafficking and he was taken to the UK under his new identity, Mo Farah.

When Mo arrived in the UK, the trafficker used him as a child slave in her home. After years of pleading with her, she allowed him to attend secondary school when he turned 12. At school, he felt a culture shock which made him feel isolated. Nevertheless, it was at school when his talents for running were first recognised.

One day at school, Mo confided in his PE teacher and told him about his home life. The PE teacher helped Mo to escape his life of child slavery. The teacher alerted social services about Mo’s situation and they placed Mo with a new Somalian family living in the local area that took care of him. The school helped Mo obtain a legal immigration status in July 2000.

As time passed, Mo continued to thrive at athletics and steadily his fame and success grew. One day, a stranger approached Mo when he was at work in a restaurant and told him that she knew his mother. She gave Mo a tape with poems and songs that his mother had recorded for him and also gave Mo his mother’s phone number. Mo had been estranged from his mother for many years and had been told the she and all his family were dead, so this news brought him indescribable joy and excitement. After a tragic journey, they were connecting again.

Mo Farah is sharing his story to bring awareness about slavery and human trafficking that still exists today. Mo’s story shows the resilience and strength of a man that ran for his own survival and he now shares with us his truth. His true identity, his true personal tale. The truth that fuels his running to four gold medals.


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