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‘I grew up in care since I was 4 months old never knew my dad – 19 years later I met him by chance’

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Thousands of children across London live in care homes and grow up not knowing who their parents or family members are.

Kids of all ages from different boroughs across the capital are left in care either as orphans , or as a result of the societal ills that leave parents unable to take custody.

But one Londoner who was placed into care at four months old, always walked down the high street wondering if the strangers he saw could be his father.

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After 19 years and in a twist of fate, Mojo Stewart visited his aunt’s grave and wrote his name on a card in some flowers, and within days of leaving it, he received a completely unexpected call from a man claiming to be his dad.

Mojo was put into care at four months old

Mojo said: “I stuck my name on it thinking people should know it came from me. I had put all my details on it.

“It was my first funeral and I thought, ‘is that what people do? I don’t know’. “I never knew what to get so I got a plant.

“I didn’t have anyone to guide me as far as etiquette.”

In the serendipitous days that followed, Mojo received a phone call from a man who said he was his father.

The Londoner said: “He called me by my name and said, ‘This is your dad’, in this deep voice.

“Within a week [he called], it was really freaky.”

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Mojo met his father Danny after 19 years and had no doubt it was him

Mojo frequently thought of who could be his father as he walked down the high street in North London looking at passersby and wondering if they could be him.

The Londoner said: “I used to walk down Stoke Newington high street and think he could be my dad.

“Just looking at different people and thinking, he could be or he could be.

“It’s really weird because it would be too much to just suddenly bump into someone like that on the street and suddenly for him to recognise me, but that’s kind of what I used to think.

“I always imagined what he looked like and I was just excited.

“He said, ‘can I come down and see you?’ and I said, ‘yes, please’.”

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The father and son made arrangements and it wasn’t long before Mojo’s long lost dad arrived at his door and the Londoner had no doubt it was him.

The children’s entertainer said: “The door knocked and I opened it up and the moment I saw him, I knew it was him.

“We did a little laugh. We didn’t hug or anything, just shaking hands and I brought him into my place and he came with my step sister and step brother.”

Mojo added: “I realised once I met him. I realised I would never have guessed if I had seen him. I would have never guessed [it was him] if I had seen him out of context.

“People say we look alike, but who knows, they say that about me and my eldest daughter. I don’t see these things that other people see.”

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Mojo met some of his other siblings the day he met his father

On the day they met for the first time, they talked and have stayed in each other’s lives ever since.

The children’s entertainer said: “Obviously we were just chatting for ages. He was a really cool dude, not at all like I’d imagined.”

As Mojo had been placed in care when he was barely one, after his father left the picture and his mum was “a young person unable to deal with the responsibilities of adulthood and children”.

To this day, the North London native couldn’t quite place when he met his mum for the first time.

He said: “I don’t remember. It’s almost as if, it just was sudden.

“Anyone could have come up and said they were my mum and I would have accepted it.”

Mojo said that his mother took him out of the facility but he was later taken back numerous times due to reasons he didn’t know.

The father-of-two said: “I always thought, ‘this is it, I’m going home’.”

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Over the years being taken back and forth from care, Mojo met his other seven brothers and sisters, who were also taken into care unbeknownst to him.

Mojo said: “Funny thing is, I hadn’t really found out from my mum but I assumed that I had met one of my elder brothers in a children’s home.

“But I wouldn’t have known until I was older, from what I remember. I kind of have vague memories of a weeping willow tree in a garden somewhere.

“I don’t think I knew he was my brother at the time, I don’t know when I knew he was my brother.

“But I think that was the only time we were in a children’s home together, that’s just a memory.

“We have spoken so much since being older.”

The children’s entertainer now lives a life of giving back as he cuts the hair of the homeless and plans to see his father soon and has become a part of his siblings’ lives.

Mojo said: “I haven’t seen him since Covid, I’ve got to be honest.

“Every time I say I’m going to do it because I meet up with the others, my nieces and all that sort of jazz, I’ve done their kids birthday parties and stuff like that.”

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