“The truth is that I am not what you think. Most people know me as Muhammad Farah, but that is not the reality.” This is how Mo Farah, the four-time Olympic champion in athletics, reveals in a documentary that he arrived in the UK illegally under a false identity.
“I was separated from my mother, and was brought illegally under the name of another child named Muhammad Farah”explains the British athlete in an interview to be broadcast on Wednesday 13 July on the BBC.
The man who was an Olympic champion in the 5,000m and 10,000m, in 2012 and then in 2016, says he got the name Mohamed Farah from a woman who brought him to the UK – who told him relatives would join there – from Djibouti, an East African country, at the age of nine .
His name is Hussein Abdi Kahin.
The 39-year-old athlete, whose father was killed in Somalia when he was four, says his real name is Hussein Abdi Kahin. His mother and two brothers live in the breakaway region of Somaliland, which is not recognized by the international community.
“The real story is that I was born in Somaliland, Northern Somalia, by the name Hussain Abdi Kahin. Despite what I have said in the past, my parents did not live in the UK”he explains.
Upon his arrival in the country, the woman who accompanied him took the paper on which the coordinates of his relatives appeared, “Tear it up and put it in the trash”About Mo Farah. “At that moment, I knew I had a problem.”
Muhammad Farah, the first British athlete to win four Olympic gold medals, also says he has had to do housework and take care of other children in a family in Britain. “If you ever want to see your family again, don’t say anything”He heard himself say. ‘I often locked myself in the shower and cried’trust.
“I often think of the other Muhammad Farah.”
One day, he finally revealed the truth to his physical education teacher, Alan Watkinson, who noticed his mood swings whenever he was on the right track. Then he went to live with A .’s mother “Friend”that happened “really busy” from him.
“The only language he seemed to understand was physical education and sports.”Alan Watkinson testifies. “The only thing I can do to get away from this [situation] is to go out and runsays the athlete. Subsequently, Alan Watkinson applied for British citizenship to Mo Farah, who obtained it on July 25, 2000.
The athlete explains that it was his children who encouraged him to reveal the truth about his past. ” [Ce secret,] I kept it for so long it was hard because you don’t want to deal with it and my kids often ask questions (…). And you always have an answer for everything, but you don’t have an answer for that. “That’s the main reason I’m telling my story, because I want to feel normal and not feel like I’m holding on to anything”he cried.
Mo Farah, who called her son Hussein, referring to his real first name, concluded: “I often think of the other Muhammad Farah, the boy I sat in his seat on that plane, and I really hope he is in good health.”