The Z Factor Exhibition celebrates some amazing Zoroastrians. They are the followers of Zoroaster, the first prophet to teach the path of Asha, the Way of Righteousness, that there is One God, and that Good would eventually triumph over evil.

Zoroastrianism is the ancient faith of Iran, and one of the great religions of the classical world. It links eastern and western faiths. Sharing common origins with Hinduism, it had a formative influence on Judaism, Christianity and Islam.

Today there are 100,000 Zoroastrians worldwide and their numbers are declining. Like the panda, they are an endangered species!

A preservation order should be placed on them, if only to protect their originality, generosity and eccentric lifestyles.

Zoroastrians have impacted on our lives and have left extraordinary legacies, not just for their own community but for everyone.

The Persian King, Cyrus the Great, the Father of Human Rights

Jamshetji Jeejeebhoy, the first Indian baronet, and legendary philanthropist

The Tatas, global leaders in industry, science and social welfare

Dadabhai Naoroji, the first non-white MP in the British Parliament

Madame Cama, the revolutionary who first unfurled the Indian flag in Europe

The Adenwallas, who developed the port of Aden

Rati Petit, who married Mohammed Ali Jinnah, the founder of Pakistan

Homi Bhabha, the Father of Indian nuclear power

Feroze Gandhi, who married Indira and fathered India’s political dynasty

Meher Baba, mystic, spiritual master and avatar

The Poonawalla Brothers, whose vaccines inoculate half the world’s children

Frene Ginwala, veteran of the African National Congress

Sohrab Godrej, industrialist and President of World Wildlife Fund Asia

Zubin Mehta, maestro


But the most famous, whom we remember every Christmas, are the Three Wise Men, Zoroastrian Magi priests, who studied the stars and foretold the birth of Jesus.

The Z Factor also celebrates Zerbanoo Gifford, who symbolises her Zoroastrian community. The exhibition portrays Zerbanoo’s life and

achievements as both extraordinary and yet typical of her heritage. Her life has combined the Zoroastrian tradition of public service, philanthropy and fighting for others’ human rights with the modern imperatives of sustainable living, women’s empowerment and interfaith action.

Another incredible Zoroastrian, the rock star, Freddie Mercury, needs special thanks for his memorable songs which complement this exhibition.

During the millennium celebrations, his song We are the Champions was voted the most popular song of all time.